Former Canterbury Bulldogs boss Trent Barrett is reportedly set to be returned to an NRL role for 2023, with the St George Illawarra Dragons shortlisting their former star half to join the assistant coaching ranks.
Barrett has previously been highly regarded as an assistant coach with the Penrith Panthers, although failed to convert that into any success during two stints as a head coach, first with the Manly Sea Eagles between 2016 and 2018, and then the Bulldogs between 2021 and 2022.
In 107 games as a head coach, Barrett has won just 34 at NRL level, and his days as a head coach may be numbered given the way Canterbury have turned things around under Mick Potter since he left Belmore.
Despite that, The Daily Telegraph are reporting that the Dragons will look to bring Barrett on under Anthony Griffin as an assistant coach in 2023.
The publication report Barrett has been shortlisted for the job - something that CEO Ryan Webb seemed to confirm to the publication.
“There have been plenty of people putting their hands up for the assistant jobs,” Webb said.
“I know Trent’s very highly thought of as someone who connects very well with players. He wouldn’t be on the short list if he wasn’t highly respected.
“Does he have the qualities to compliment our coach? As an assistant I think he does so he’s definitely in the mix.
“It’s the coach’s team so it will be his decision. We’ll look at what we think he needs and Hook will do the same.”
The Dragons are currently cleaning out their coaching team, with Peter Gentle and Matthew Head both reportedly set to exit, while former hard-working prop James Graham also lost his role with the Red V recently.
Blindsided by the move as Graham was, the Dragons have made their intentions to reshape the club in 2023 with Griffin still as coach seemingly clear.
After a bottom-four finish last year, the Dragons were in the hunt for a top-eight spot this season, but have ultimately lost in some horror performances during the last couple of weeks to all but end those hopes.
The move to potentially bring Barrett on board will bring an experienced assistant coach into the fray, something Griffin clearly needs with junior talent struggling to hit their stride and the club's attack inconsistent at best.